Cell death & disease

Human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells direct macrophage polarization to alleviate pancreatic islets dysfunction in type 2 diabetic mice.

PMID 29988034


Progressive pancreatic β-cell dysfunction is recognized as a fundamental pathology of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Recently, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been identified in protection of islets function in T2D individuals. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. It is widely accepted that β-cell dysfunction is closely related to improper accumulation of macrophages in the islets, and a series of reports suggest that MSCs possess great immunomodulatory properties by which they could elicit macrophages into an anti-inflammatory M2 state. In this study, we induced a T2D mouse model with a combination of high-fat diet (HFD) and low-dose streptozotocin (STZ), and then performed human umbilical cord-derived MSCs (hUC-MSCs) infusion to investigate whether the effect of MSCs on islets protection was related to regulation on macrophages in pancreatic islets. hUC-MSCs infusion exerted anti-diabetic effects and significantly promoted islets recovery in T2D mice. Interestingly, pancreatic inflammation was remarkably suppressed, and local M1 macrophages were directed toward an anti-inflammatory M2-like state after hUC-MSC infusion. In vitro study also proved that hUC-MSCs inhibited the activation of the M1 phenotype and induced the generation of the M2 phenotype in isolated mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs), peritoneal macrophages (PMs) and in THP-1 cells. Further analysis showed that M1-stimulated hUC-MSCs increased the secretion of interleukin (IL)-6, blocking which by small interfering RNA (siRNA) largely abrogated the hUC-MSCs effects on macrophages both in vitro and in vivo, resulting in dampened restoration of β-cell function and glucose homeostasis in T2D mice. In addition, MCP-1 was found to work in accordance with IL-6 in directing macrophage polarization from M1 to M2 state. These data may provide new clues for searching for the target of β-cell protection. Furthermore, hUC-MSCs may be a superior alternative in treating T2D for their macrophage polarization effects.

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EHU046621 MISSION® esiRNA, esiRNA human IL6 (esiRNA1)